Josh has been HIV-positive for only a year and he’s not taking medicine yet. “I’ve made the decision in the past year that being undetectable [having an undetectable viral load] is less important to me than feeling like my body is handling things at the moment,” he says.
Once his family knew, Josh was determined to not keep his diagnosis a secret. “Hiding wasn’t for me. I thought the only way to combat stigma or prevent gossip was to tell my story first. So I started a blog.” His blog, Imstilljosh.com, allows Josh to tell his story, share his experience with others and connect with people like him, something he had a hard time with in the beginning. “I had never had one person tell me that they were HIV-positive before I was diagnosed. I didn’t know anybody and I felt kind of lonely. Plus, I was scared, terrified even, for my health.” Since launching his blog, he’s had thousands of people reach out to him, almost 200 of them from his region of the country alone. “I’m not lonely at all now. It’s a huge honor and very humbling that somebody would choose to share their story via an e-mail just because they felt some sort of connection because I made the decision to tell my story on my blog.”
“I’m still Josh. Yes, I’m living with HIV, but I’m still the exact same person.” No matter what, you are still you.